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    Default Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    I have no idea why this didn't occur to me before, since I've been wanting to try and stat Berserk characters for a long time now, but anyway, here goes.

    Personally I think he's probably pretty much a Human (Whirling Frenzy) Barbarian/Fighter, with maybe a little rogue or even ranger thrown in, built around cleaving the **** out of things with an over-sized sword (I'm not sure what his various swords should be, but I think he should have weapon focus/specialization/improved critical with whatever it is). Assuming we're going for the post-Golden Age Guts, with
    Spoiler
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    the Dragonslayer and Berserker Armor
    , he'll almost certainly be epic
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    (remember this is the guy who's taken it upon himself to hunt what are essentially archfiends)
    , and have Wield Oversized Weapon (CW), Quick Draw, probably Improved Initiative, Endurance, Die-hard, power attack, cleave, great cleave, EWP: Repeating crossbow, rapid reload, monkey grip, probably combat expertise/improved trip, improved sunder, maybe improved bullrush...

    So, that's what I have for the moment; we know he's really strong, fast, and tough (also quite intelligent, perceptive, philosophical, and charismatic, in that he has a strong effect on everyone he encounters), has some unique equipment, has some unique... qualities
    Spoiler
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    (exists in the Interstice, has the brand etc)
    , etc, so what've you got?

    Edit: Also we should do Griffith later...
    Last edited by Scarlet-Devil; 2011-02-04 at 11:50 PM.
    Ponified Remilia avatar by Kurien.
    Quote Originally Posted by BayardSPSR View Post
    Do you have 'craft: disturbing mental image' as a class skill?
    Attempt at converting the characters of Touhou to the world of D&D 3.5: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181050

    Attempt at converting Berserk characters to 3.5: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186155

    Attempt at converting Geralt of Rivia to 3.5:
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=208270

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Normal Rage might fit better due to the Con boost. Frenzied Berserker as well, at least with his armor.

    Actually, Frenzied Berserker seems like a great fit overall, due to the increased power attack and the ability to simply not die do to damage.
    Will be edited by Ryuuk : Sometime in the future.

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Actually, he doesn't seem like anything more than a high level lion totem barbarian. He has a magic weapon, he has pounce, and he has leap attack. That basically explains everything he does.

    the berzerker armor could be a magic item which converts rage into frenzy (as per the Frenzied Berserker PrC) and probably gives some form of con damage for wearing it.

    That's pretty much it.

    EDIT: swordsage'd. hard.
    Last edited by The Rabbler; 2011-02-05 at 12:02 AM.
    *note: not all advice by this poster is meant to be taken seriously.

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    optimization is like salt. a pinch here and there can't hurt, but too much will spoil everything.

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryuuk View Post
    Normal Rage might fit better due to the Con boost. Frenzied Berserker as well, at least with his armor.

    Actually, Frenzied Berserker seems like a great fit overall, due to the increased power attack and the ability to simply not die do to damage.
    I chose Whirling Frenzy because it gives an extra attack (which I think might stack with the extra from Frenzy) and increases AC, whereas normal rage decreases AC; while he does take a lot of damage, he also avoids a whole lot of attacks, he's very fast in battle and manages to avoid all kinds of attacks that would kill him.

    Frenzied Berserker was definitely the first thing that came to mind... but I'm a little uncertain about it.
    Spoiler
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    Frenzy is basically what the Berserker Armor does; though alternatively, maybe he could be a FB and the Armor could augment his frenzy/rage or something.


    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Rabbler View Post
    Actually, he doesn't seem like anything more than a high level lion totem barbarian. He has a magic weapon, he has pounce, and he has leap attack. That basically explains everything he does.
    His weapon isn't magical, per se,
    Spoiler
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    though it has some supernatural qualities after slaying so many apostles
    . He really doesn't pounce either, though leap attack is good; he does most of his fighting in place, not charging around and inexplicably making several attacks in midair.

    Also, we should keep in mind that Berserk is a very low-magic setting.

    Edit: Also, on the magic sword issue; remember that part of what makes Guts so hardcore is that he's able to damage his non-human opponents, where basically no one else can, i.e. he hits so hard that he can overcome high damage reduction; he doesn't bypass it... well, he might now(see above spoiler).
    Last edited by Scarlet-Devil; 2011-02-05 at 12:18 AM.
    Ponified Remilia avatar by Kurien.
    Quote Originally Posted by BayardSPSR View Post
    Do you have 'craft: disturbing mental image' as a class skill?
    Attempt at converting the characters of Touhou to the world of D&D 3.5: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181050

    Attempt at converting Berserk characters to 3.5: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186155

    Attempt at converting Geralt of Rivia to 3.5:
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=208270

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet-Devil View Post
    Edit: Also, on the magic sword issue; remember that part of what makes Guts so hardcore is that he's able to damage his non-human opponents, where basically no one else can, i.e. he hits so hard that he can overcome high damage reduction; he doesn't bypass it... well, he might now(see above spoiler).
    From my understanding it is a combination of the sword hitting the fiends true form, and hitting hard. Dicefreaks has a version of him, though I have doubts about him really being epic.

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Geddoe View Post
    From my understanding it is a combination of the sword hitting the fiends true form, and hitting hard. Dicefreaks has a version of him, though I have doubts about him really being epic.
    What do you mean by the true form?
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    Are you referring to Ganishka specifically? 'Cause even before Guts gets the brand (which makes him live in the Interstice and thus able to see and interact with supernatural creatures) and his Dragonslayer gets 'enchanted' from killing so many apostles, he was able to harm Wyald with his other sword.


    But yeah, the Dicefreaks version is kind've funky, though the variant rules might be a good idea. What makes you think he isn't epic? Wield Oversized Weapon alone seems to suggest that he should be at least 21st level, not to mention the kinds of things he fights, by himself, and kills, as well as the things he survives.

    Edit: Also at one point he swings the Dragonslayer with his teeth , though I'm not quite sure how to represent that in D&D.
    Last edited by Scarlet-Devil; 2011-02-05 at 02:28 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BayardSPSR View Post
    Do you have 'craft: disturbing mental image' as a class skill?
    Attempt at converting the characters of Touhou to the world of D&D 3.5: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181050

    Attempt at converting Berserk characters to 3.5: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186155

    Attempt at converting Geralt of Rivia to 3.5:
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=208270

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet-Devil View Post
    What do you mean by the true form?

    But yeah, the Dicefreaks version is kind've funky, though the variant rules might be a good idea. What makes you think he isn't epic? Wield Oversized Weapon alone seems to suggest that he should be at least 21st level, not to mention the kinds of things he fights, by himself, and kills, as well as the things he survives.

    Edit: Also at one point he swings the Dragonslayer with his teeth , though I'm not quite sure how to represent that in D&D.
    He also managed to stand with Zodd for a few rounds and tear his arm off, way before any supernatural stuff started happened. I think he was always in the interstice though, sort of, as he really shouldve been dead at birth but wasnt.

    How would you stat the arm cannon, btw? It includes a locked (magnetic) gauntlet, and it has to account for recoil, if we get picky.

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet-Devil View Post
    What makes you think he isn't epic? Wield Oversized Weapon alone seems to suggest that he should be at least 21st level, not to mention the kinds of things he fights, by himself, and kills, as well as the things he survives.
    Because I look at what Guts can do, and I look at what a Pit Fiend or Balor could do, and frankly he doesn't match up all that well in anything but style. In my opinion, a standard pit fiend or balor would likely give any of the Godhand a run for their money. D&D at level 12+ is the realm of superheroes.

    Just because the enemies look scary and slaughter innocents doesn't mean they are really all that tough D&D wise. 1 shadow from D&D could kill all of Earth, but they aren't really all that tough to a seasoned D&D adventurer.

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Geddoe View Post
    Because I look at what Guts can do, and I look at what a Pit Fiend or Balor could do, and frankly he doesn't match up all that well in anything but style.
    He fought and cracked open the face of a crystal dragon; also, is currently fighting something akin to a kraken. Aditionally, many of the apostles he has thus far killed seemed like quite high CR monsters. But it may be fanboy bias.

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Geddoe View Post
    Because I look at what Guts can do, and I look at what a Pit Fiend or Balor could do, and frankly he doesn't match up all that well in anything but style. In my opinion, a standard pit fiend or balor would likely give any of the Godhand a run for their money. D&D at level 12+ is the realm of superheroes.

    Just because the enemies look scary and slaughter innocents doesn't mean they are really all that tough D&D wise. 1 shadow from D&D could kill all of Earth, but they aren't really all that tough to a seasoned D&D adventurer.
    Okay, but think of a 20th+ level fighter or barbarian; what do they do? The answer is the same thing they've always done, essentially kill things with weapons and survive fierce combat. You can't really compare that to one of the monster-kings in terms of versatility or magical abilities, but in their own way a straight fighter can be just as powerful or more (in terms of killing things).
    Spoiler
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    The Godhand haven't been shown to be anything less than completely omnipotent in their true forms, and in the only displays of power we've seen from them (at least Femto) they've displayed nothing but what are essentially 9th+ level spells (Implosion, Detonate, possibly Mindrape)


    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by LansXero View Post
    He also managed to stand with Zodd for a few rounds and tear his arm off, way before any supernatural stuff started happened. I think he was always in the interstice though, sort of, as he really shouldve been dead at birth but wasnt.

    How would you stat the arm cannon, btw? It includes a locked (magnetic) gauntlet, and it has to account for recoil, if we get picky.
    Very true, although IIRC it was actually Griffith who cut his arm off ; Guts stabbed him in the chest. Well, I don't think he really
    Spoiler
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    lived in the Interstice before the brand, but he did have that whole existing outside of causality thing, presumably from birth.


    But yeah, his prosthetic arm... Probably going to have to be a little homebrew, but we might be able to take ideas from items/grafts; its essential ability is that it lets him wield weapons (there's really no work for us there; locked gauntlet like you said), it has a mountable repeating crossbow (just treat as light repeating crossbow that he fires with his other hand), he uses it a few times to beat people and sunder weapons, so I was thinking of either making it like a 1d6 slam attack, or just treating it as a gauntlet, and finally the cannon... for that I don't really know, but it's obviously pretty powerful, I guess I'll look through the DMG for more modern weapons first off.
    Last edited by Scarlet-Devil; 2011-02-05 at 02:01 PM.
    Ponified Remilia avatar by Kurien.
    Quote Originally Posted by BayardSPSR View Post
    Do you have 'craft: disturbing mental image' as a class skill?
    Attempt at converting the characters of Touhou to the world of D&D 3.5: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181050

    Attempt at converting Berserk characters to 3.5: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186155

    Attempt at converting Geralt of Rivia to 3.5:
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=208270

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Oslecamo made a good argument that Guts has the Half-Iron Golem template a while back.

    He definitely needs Steadfast Determination, EWP: Fullblade, and Frenzied Berserker levels for Supreme Cleave.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Barring the case of the Eclipse, Gutts is consistently a tactical combatant--even at his most unbalanced, he's still able to improvise and execute plans that help him defeat physically overwhelming opponents. So I took a completely different tack: I used ToB material to simulate the different aspects of how Gutts fights...essentially, the "Berserk" is chopped into maneuvers that seem fitting mechanical representation of things from the manga.

    The build:

    Spoiler
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    Race: Human...though something with Powerful Build does have a certain cachet....

    So the manga character starts with elite stats--like a very good 4d6-and-drop array--and just gets stronger in a manner disproportionate with the 5 ability points gained over 20 levels. To roughly represent the character in D&D terms, I'd propose:

    STR and CON prioritized, INT, DEX, and WIS are a toss up, and CHA dumped.

    The primaries are obvious, but I'd actually opt to boost CON higher than STR if I had to choose. The secondaries give me pause: the optimizer in me says prioritize INT, but I think the fitting array for the character would to boost WIS first, then DEX, then WIS.

    Levels like this:

    Warblade 1-2 / Fighter 1-2 / Warblade 3-8 / Swordsage 1-2 / Warblade 9-16

    Fighter 2/ Warblade 8 basically follows the character up to the Eclipse; Swordsage 2 represents some of the new tricks he acquires as the Black Swordsman, and the remaining levels of Warblade chart his further development approximately up to present...given the scale of what's he fighting on a daily basis, I'd argue Gutts is near epic, if not epic...though it's hard to gauge without statting the things he fights and assigning them CRs.

    16d12 + 2d10 + 2d8 = [mean hp 114; max hp 228] + 20( assume +4 CON) ~
    mean 194hp, max 328hp

    Final saves:
    [I]Fortitude 10 + 3 = 11 +CON
    Reflexes 5 + 3 = 8 + DEX + INT
    Will 5 + 3 = 8 + WIS

    Gutts isn't lacking in any category, but he's defined by the amount of physical punishment he takes and keeps going. Steadfast Determination would be a boon to his Will save, but it feels apt that's it's not overly boosted.

    Final Skills: 19(2+4+1) + 2 (2+2+1) + 2(2+6+1) = 161 skill points, assuming +2 INT

    Max Ranks (23): Concentration, Tumble, Intimidate, Jump
    .5-Max Ranks (~11): Ride, Balance, Hide, Move Silently, Sense Motive
    Spare Ranks: Swim, Listen

    Skills choices reflect the needs of martial disciplines, but assess the character's displayed skills. Concentration, Tumble and Sense Motive represent Gutts's state of mind in combat--intense, focused, perceptive, but also sort of blank and instinctual--while Tumble, Jump, and Balance reflect his physical skillset. Ride is because we see the character fight on horseback sometimes; Hide/MS are there because Gutts does dabble in sneaking around and surprise attacks during the Black Swordsman period. Swim and Listen are filler.

    Feats:

    (1) Power Attack, Monkey Grip; (3) Weapon Focus, Cleave; (4) Great Cleave; (6): Improved Initiative; (7) Adaptive Style; (9) Exotic Weapon Proficiency (repeating crossbow); (12) Martial Stance**; (13) Quick Draw* (15) Martial Study**; (17) Blind-Fight*; (18) Martial Stance**

    * The Warblade feat list reeks, and I don't get why Martial Study/Martial Stance aren't options. Your feats and 13 and 17 are open--Quick Draw is at least character-appropriate--so pick what feels apt. If you could get a favorable ruling, I'd try for Martial Study: Lightning Throw (IH8).
    ** I'll note what I'm acquiring under manuevers.

    There's lot of stuff I'd love to cram in--more crossbow skills, Leap Attack, Greater Weapon Focus--but the warblade feats constrain you. A ruling for including "Martial x" feats to the list means you can juggle around things a bit in later levels. My recommendations about maneuvers et al certainly aren't binding.


    The maneuvers, broken down:

    Spoiler
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    ecl -equivalent class level
    wil - warblade initiator level
    sil - swordsage initiator level
    Underline for substitutions at even levels
    Italics for Stances
    Bold for maneuvers obtained by feats
    * - will be subbed at future level



    ecl 1, wil 1: Steel Wind* (ih1); Sapphire Nightmare Blade* (dm1); Sudden Leap (tc1); Punishing Stance (ih1)

    ecl 2, wil 2: Charging Minotaur* (sd1)

    ecl 5, wil 4:Mountain Hammer* (sd2)

    ecl 6, wil 5: Absolute Steel (ih3); sub Iron Heart Surge (ih3) for Steel Wind

    ecl 7, wil 6: Soaring Raptor Strike* (tc3)

    ecl 8, wil 7: sub Ruby Nightmare Blade* (dm2) for Charging Minotaur

    ecl 9, sil 5: Thought Before Action (dm2); Moment of Perfect Mind (dm1); Emerald Razor (dm2); Bonecrusher (sd2); Feigned Opening (ss3); Counter Charge (ss1); Roots of the Mountain (sd3)

    ecl 10, sil 6: Death from Above (tc2), Leaping Dragon (tc3)

    ecl 11, wil 9: Pouncing Charge (tc5)

    ecl 12, wil 10:sub Elder Mountain Hammer* (sd5) for Mountain Hammer; via feat Dancing Blade Form (ih5) OR Giant's Stance (sd5)

    ecl 13, wil 11: Wolf Climbs the Mountain (tc6)

    ecl 14, wil 12: Dancing Blade Form (ih5) OR Giant's Stance (sd5)**; sub Moment of Alacrity (dm6) for Sapphire Nightmare Blade

    ecl 15, wil 13: Swooping Dragon Strike (tc7); via feat, Scything Blade (ih7)

    ecl 16, wil 14: sub Ancient Mountain Hammer (sd7) for Elder Mountain Hammer

    ecl 17, wil 15: Diamond Nightmare Blade (dm8)

    ecl 18, wil 16: sub Adamantine Hurricane (ih8) for Ruby Nightmare Blade; via feat, Strength of Stone (sd8) OR Wolfpack Tactics (tc8)

    ecl 19, wil 17: Strike of Perfect Clarity (ih9)

    ecl 20, wil 18: Strength of Stone (sd8) OR Wolfpack Tactics (tc8); sub Time Stands Still (dm9) for Soaring Raptor Strike

    ** Does Giant's Stance stack with Monkey Grip? If it doesn't spend your level 12 bonus feat elsewhere. You could pick up an Extra Readied Maneuver, a 5th-tier maneuver or stance from one of the five disciplines you've got, or even sign up for a sixth (Devoted Spirit FTW) whilst contemplated taking Master of Nine during epic.

    So the maneuvers break down by thematic use, as per the manga:

    There are maneuvers that are single strikes that cause big damage...or that facilitate a single strike doing big damage. A subset of this is attacks facilitated by jumping, which has become a trend in Berserk as Gutts faces much-bigger-than-human foes.

    There are maneuvers that, along with Great Cleave, create waves of successive attacks against one or many targets. This is as close as the system can get to representing one sword swing mowing down multiple opponents, or the super-fast cut and parry of Gutts versus Zodd.

    There are iaijutsu-type moves where damage is caused by the enemy being off-guard or surprised, and, more generally, move that signify tactical use of speed and agility to feint, counter, and maneuver.

    ...And there's the recovery maneuvers that represent overcoming mental and physical damage by willpower and sheer bloody-mindedness.


    All of the above is built to conclude at 20; were I building to 25 or 30 I'd probably do things differently--ie arrange feats and maneuvers in different orders, and maybe shoot for an early dip into Master of Nine for more readied maneuvers--because there's tons of other clever things that would fit in with the character's combat style.

    I haven't addressed equipment: the Dragonslayer, the Berserker's Armor, and the Cannon-Gauntlet are all plot-important items, but I'll have to think about how to model then in game terms.

    (Hm. It's been awhile since anyone posted, so maybe not go to more effort without feedback....)
    Last edited by Yanagi; 2011-07-20 at 11:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanagi View Post
    Massive snip
    Good stuff! I hope this isn't thread necromancy though...

    I guess I can see maneuvers working pretty well for him, and I kind've like swordsage thrown in, since it gives him access to all kinds of skills he wouldn't otherwise have.

    Equipment is definitely a little tricky, especially the arm cannon and Berserker Armor.
    Ponified Remilia avatar by Kurien.
    Quote Originally Posted by BayardSPSR View Post
    Do you have 'craft: disturbing mental image' as a class skill?
    Attempt at converting the characters of Touhou to the world of D&D 3.5: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181050

    Attempt at converting Berserk characters to 3.5: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186155

    Attempt at converting Geralt of Rivia to 3.5:
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=208270

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet-Devil View Post
    Good stuff! I hope this isn't thread necromancy though...

    I guess I can see maneuvers working pretty well for him, and I kind've like swordsage thrown in, since it gives him access to all kinds of skills he wouldn't otherwise have.

    Equipment is definitely a little tricky, especially the arm cannon and Berserker Armor.
    Thanks. I'm a fan of Berserk, so I jumped on the thread when I noticed it.

    I'm not sure we've hit the required time limit for necromancy, but the moderators will doubtless inform us otherwise. [Not a criticism! I totally understand that old threads need to be trimmed....]

    I'm got a few ideas re/ equipment, but it'll probably have to wait til tomorrow (at minimum). I think the shortcut on statting the Berserker Armor is to treat the panoply as not just one item that fills the armor slot, but rather as a cursed variant of the magic item sets found in the MIC.

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    Default Re: Statting Guts, The Black Swordsman (3.5)

    Level 9ish warblade with a magic item giving him a rage power.

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